The places of worship in Paris are some of its most popular attractions. From the famous Gothic Notre-Dame on the Île de la Cité and the Grande Mosque de Paris, to the lesser-known gems tucked away in unsuspecting places like The Saint Jean Baptiste Church of Belleville, the range of religious architecture in this cosmopolitan city is sublime.
Notre Dame is not the only Gothic masterpiece in this city. Tucked away from the tourists in the 19th arrondissement is the glorious church known as Église Saint-Jean Baptiste (The Saint Jean Baptiste Church of Belleville). The church was first built in 1548, before undergoing major renovation work in 1635. It is actually one of the oldest neo-Gothic churches of Paris, and definitely one of the most impressive, with its looming arches, gigantic spires and stained glass windows. Because it is located in a lesser-known neighbourhood, on the outer fringes of the tourist bustle, it doesn’t get many visitors other than locals. This has its benefits, as you can skip all the queues and, usually, have the eerily silent place all to yourself.
The mosque of Omar Ibn Al Khattab is tucked away in an unsuspecting corner of the 11th arrondissement of Paris. It was built in the early 1980s, and whilst it may be smaller than the grand mosques that tower over the cities of Lyon, Strasbourg, and of course Paris, it’s a local favourite in the French capital. Sometimes the Grand Mosque of Paris is quite busy, so this mosque offers a cosier place of worship. The interior design is typical of Islamic culture too, with gorgeous carpets and proud columns brandishing more books than you could possibly have the time to read.